Wednesday, September 28, 2005

stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it

Today, it finally hit me why I have felt so off balance lately. There is an inherent weirdness associated with going after something you really want, while simultaneously maintaining your stake in something you really don't want at all. It comes down to being in a transition state.

When some molecules go through reactions, they start out at a certain thermodynamic level, a certain stability. Because I'm a cynic, I like to think of this as their level of dissatisfaction with their current state. It's this state of being- something better could be out there, but they're not in such an unbearable state that they would not even be to begin with.

If the molecules can get enough energy, can get excited enough about reacting, they can clear the Sisyphusian-looking hill they are staring up at their original state. They decide to ride that rollercoaster, but it takes a lot to get up there- that's the activation energy required to make a reaction happen. At the top of the rollercoaster, they're in the transition state- at this point, they resemble neither the original molecules, nor the molecular products they are destined to become. It's that point at the top of the rollercoaster, after the slow click, click, click as you make your way up the incline. You're at the very top, and you know you have a thrilling, effortless ride ahead of you. But there is still that moment of uncertainty at the precipice; your stomach hurts in anticipation.

Most molecules stay in a transition state briefly. After a short inhale, it's a wheeeee and they've found their new state of being, a happier place than where they started. They had to travel to a place where everything was difficult and uncomfortable in order to get to their promised land. I realized today I have a long transition state ahead of me. I'll just have to keep reminding myself that I'll be in a better place once the freefall finally begins.

No comments: